For Sar. Thanks for the beta- you're the mun! Unyielding is a stand-alone for now, but there are other Dred/Wynnie stories on my hard drive and being shot at by my muse within my head... if you are desirous of more heretical Rohan writings, feedback is a good way to ask.
The shadows crept across the wall, and Eowyn steeled herself. Her hands tightened around the chair arm and she bit her lip, willing light to come back into the room even as it was sucked away. The leech was coming. It was all she could do to not get up, cross the room, and take down the sword upon the wall.
"Thou looks wearied." Grima said, the words sliding off his silver tongue effortlessly as he approached her chair from behind. Eowyn pushed them out of her mind, hands tightening on the arm chair once more.
"Do not mock me." Eowyn said coldly. "I know what your words would mean, and I find no favor in them." His attempt to break barriers pushed new ones up. Fear was a powerful enemy- but there were occasions when her own fear could serve as her greatest ally.
"You do not answer my question." Grima noted. It took all of Eowyn's effort to tighten her grip once more instead of bolt from her chair and turn, to face an enemy, to fight him as he ought to be faced. But she lost that way. She had to keep her focus on something... anything... for strength in this matter.
"It is not a question." Eowyn replied, trying to keep back the impulse to cry out. She wanted time...
"Then what is it, lady Eowyn?" Grima asked. She could feel him coming to her left, and the need to bolt- not for safety, but for the armory- was so strong she could scarcely resist it. Her hands clenched by her sides and she turned to the right, to avoid the sight of him.
"It is of no importance." She said. "Leave me alone." His mere presence drained her. Like he was sucking the life out of her... she swore he sucked the light out of the room the moment he entered, like a void into his dark garments, that he was sucking the will away from her uncle. She feared. How long would it be before he sucked the will out of her, too, making her no more then a spiritless puppet, a pawn in his games and a toy to be tinkered with?
Never. He never would do that. She wouldn't let him.
"If it is of no importance, why do you shy so from it?" There was reasoning behind his words- and that was half the reason Eowyn feared. Reason behind madness... it was dangerous. A dangerous game he played, a dangerous game she was dragged into unwillingly, unprepared.
Where is Theodred? Eowyn wondered, forcing down thoughts of helplessness. Gods... send Theodred... please... It would be so much easier to stand, to take down the sword upon the wall, to turn and face him, to fight like a soldier. But no... that was something she was not permitted. Something she cried for, something she deserved- something she could not take. If she was armed, she would kill him.
And ruin perhaps all chance of saving her uncle. Theodred had told her- and she believed him- that the premature death of Grima may lead to the premature death of her uncle. No. She wouldn't kill Theoden. Please... She repeated, and the tears rose. She pushed them back down- she did not need weakness in this moment. She needed her cousin. She hated being saved- but being saved was better then being trapped. Being ensnared by a voice that meant only harm, when a sword could have dispatched it altogether...
"There is no one to save you this time." Grima said, drawing in front of her. Eowyn avoided his glance, looking beyond him towards the window without. "You must answer the question sooner or later. For you are wearied, as I am, of these... games."
The echo of hoofbeats and sudden blur of color out the window grabbed Eowyn's attention. There was a rider in the yard. A sudden, unexpected stirring of hope fluttered within the walls around Eowyn's heart as the rider pulled to a stop and dismounted. She did not have to wait for him to remove his helmet to know him- she knew him in armor or out of it, features masked or revealed. It was Theodred. She was nearly out. She was almost safe. She just had to hold Grima off just a little longer... "You know full well what I think, Wormtongue." Eowyn said coldly, using the contemptuous name that had come to
define her uncle's advisor. "I will not yield."
The rider dismounted. Eowyn sat taller, allowing him to see her- and her company. She watched him glance up at the window, as he ever did, each time he rode in. Theodred's helmet came off, and his eyes met hers through the heights. His familiar voice echoed in towards her. "Eowyn!"
Eowyn stood. She refused to be intimidated by Grima. "I am called." She dared- an act of defiance, almost- to glance into his eyes, for but a second. She saw the calculated calm fading to make way for frustration. The ill hidden, if somewhat better controlled, desire, seemed to double in his eyes, and Eowyn looked away before it snared her. She did not need to know the deapth of his passions or his longings. They only made it harder to sleep at night. "Excuse me."
He stepped aside. Eowyn's steps were heavy as she passed him, turning so that she did not even brush him with the corner of her skirts as hurried towards the door. She could feel how close he was, and it terrified her. She did not stop, nor did she look back. She would never look back- not to him, not to the invader of her castle, the person who had brought so much misery on her world. If her family was indeed a castle, she was the last tower, the last defense- a place for the women and children to hide- until the rest of the fortress crumbled.
"Eowyn?" Theodred stopped, looking at her as if to be sure it was indeed his cousin. She looked up and met his eyes. Here was the inner wall of the courtyard. Breech the outer walls, if you could. It would take much to get past the inner wall. While men yet defended the inner wall, it would hold...
"I'm fine." She swallowed and drank in the comforting sight of her cousin. She trusted him so fully, he felt almost more like a lover then a cousin to her. He was always there... with but one word, he could draw her out from the darkness that seemed to have her entrapped.
"What did he want?"
"What he always wants." She swallowed, and allowed his presence to comfort her. She would not give up. She would not give in, nor would she weaken or waver. This tower would not fall.
"You have to fight him." Theodred said firmly, taking her hand and squeezing it once. "Keep fighting him. You are strong, and I have faith in you."
Eowyn nodded, and allowed herself a grim smile as Theodred's hold on her hand tightened. She could almost feel him willing her the strength to endure- and the grim smile opened to a real one. She vowed to herself, and then meeting his eyes, spoke once more. "I will not yield."
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.